THRILLERS
STARTER
To understand conventions of thrillers.
To adopt genre conventions into my own work.
• What are the conv...
The aim of a thriller
• To create suspense, tension and excitement for the
audience.
• Thrillers create high levels of
ant...
Sub-genres
• Crime Thriller
• Psychological Thriller
• Spy Thriller
• Action Thriller
• Supernatural Thriller
What makes a thriller a thriller?
• Conventional characters: Hero & Villain – where the
hero is often an outsider, isolate...
Music / sound
• Sound / Music is an important element in a thriller
film. The type of sound / music gives the thriller
gen...
Jaws
• Watch the opening scene of Jaws – paying close
attention to the use of diagetic and non-diagetic
sound.
http://www....
Lighting
• Low-key lighting is most likely to be used in a
Thriller movie.
• The use of shadows through lighting is a conv...
The Sixth Sense
• Watch the opening sequence of The Sixth Sense –
what do you notice about the use of lighting and
shadows...
Camera angles / movements
• Some camera movements also make the audience
feel tense and helps them to feel like they are
a...
Vertigo
• Watch this opening scene of Vertigo – how does
Hitchcock use camera movements and shots to
make the audience fee...
Reflection / Mirrors
• Mirrors are a convention of thriller films as the
represent the reflection of someone’s soul. This
...
Mirrors
• Watch this trailer for the film Mirrors – how does it
draw on the representation of mirrors in thriller
films?
h...
Flashbacks
• Flashbacks are used in Thriller films to create a
feeling of time disorientation, which can create
confusion ...
Memento
• Watch this sequence – which includes a flashback
scene – how is the flashback introduced to the
narrative?
http:...
Editing
• Quick cuts and camera angle changes help to create
a stronger sense of confusion among the audience
and heighten...
L05 thriller conventions
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L05 thriller conventions

  1. 1. THRILLERS STARTER To understand conventions of thrillers. To adopt genre conventions into my own work. • What are the conventions of thriller films? • What is the aim of a thriller? • What films would you label as ‘thrillers’? Why?
  2. 2. The aim of a thriller • To create suspense, tension and excitement for the audience. • Thrillers create high levels of anticipation, surprise, uncertainty, heightened expectation, and terror. • Thriller films tend to be adrenaline rushing.
  3. 3. Sub-genres • Crime Thriller • Psychological Thriller • Spy Thriller • Action Thriller • Supernatural Thriller
  4. 4. What makes a thriller a thriller? • Conventional characters: Hero & Villain – where the hero is often an outsider, isolated & secretive. • Narrative revolves around a puzzle or investigation. • It keeps the audience at the edge of their seats as the plot builds to a climax. Plot twists and cliff- hangers are used a lot. • Violence & crime are central to most thrillers. • Sometimes the villain’s identity is kept secret until the very end of the film. • Tension is needed so the audience is focused and interested and wants to follow the film’s plot.
  5. 5. Music / sound • Sound / Music is an important element in a thriller film. The type of sound / music gives the thriller genre more meaning. • Non-diagetic music / sounds that play in the background make up the atmosphere of the scene. • Some thrillers use the silence technique which builds up tension. • In most thriller films there is the ‘calm before the storm’. This build tension up to a focal event which means something bad is going to happen. E.G: The music starts slow and calm and the movement of the characters is also slow. As the movement gets faster the tempo builds up and speeds up to the tension, matching the action in the scene. Thus making it dramatic.
  6. 6. Jaws • Watch the opening scene of Jaws – paying close attention to the use of diagetic and non-diagetic sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA70nZDYVSA&lis t=PLTncY6XLnu8ZwQGNLcZ0wyMPX_jZ0WQOj&index =24
  7. 7. Lighting • Low-key lighting is most likely to be used in a Thriller movie. • The use of shadows through lighting is a convention of thriller films. • Sometimes shadows represent evil and darkness within people. • Shadows create an eerie atmosphere.
  8. 8. The Sixth Sense • Watch the opening sequence of The Sixth Sense – what do you notice about the use of lighting and shadows? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb5bmX9P1zs&lis t=PLTncY6XLnu8ZwQGNLcZ0wyMPX_jZ0WQOj
  9. 9. Camera angles / movements • Some camera movements also make the audience feel tense and helps them to feel like they are actually in the film. • A camera movement often used is tracking. This is a fast paced camera movement (dolly shot). Camera movements like this excite the audience. • Close ups and extreme close ups are often used in thrillers. These shot sizes show the character’s facial expression.
  10. 10. Vertigo • Watch this opening scene of Vertigo – how does Hitchcock use camera movements and shots to make the audience feel part of the film? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7sznnL0NZ0&lis t=PLTncY6XLnu8ZwQGNLcZ0wyMPX_jZ0WQOj
  11. 11. Reflection / Mirrors • Mirrors are a convention of thriller films as the represent the reflection of someone’s soul. This tends to make the audience feel uneasy and creates a claustrophobic feeling. • Mirrors can also represent darkness and evil in a character.
  12. 12. Mirrors • Watch this trailer for the film Mirrors – how does it draw on the representation of mirrors in thriller films? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw_fFKOJnYc&list =PLTncY6XLnu8ZwQGNLcZ0wyMPX_jZ0WQOj
  13. 13. Flashbacks • Flashbacks are used in Thriller films to create a feeling of time disorientation, which can create confusion among the audience. • Flashbacks are sometimes used in an important scene in a thriller as they give the audience insight about the character’s past. • A Thriller film which uses this convention a lot is Memento.
  14. 14. Memento • Watch this sequence – which includes a flashback scene – how is the flashback introduced to the narrative? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDkUTXDNxao
  15. 15. Editing • Quick cuts and camera angle changes help to create a stronger sense of confusion among the audience and heighten tension. • As you have already seen with Mrs Ackerman in Arlington Road. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BROZYppqsf8&list =PLFFF8761ADFB13C7B

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